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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | March 7, 1999

Not So Happy '99

Before we start the silly stuff, something serious...

Over the last week or two I have been getting a lot of e-mails with a file called "happy99.exe" attached to them. This is a type of virus - an e-mail worm. Basically it infects your mail program, and then attaches itself to every e-mail you send. And you never even know you're sending it until somebody tells you.

Luckily I never ran the file so I haven't been infected, but a lot of you out there seem to have it. Go here to find out more about it, including how to disinfect your computer if you ran the file.

Thanks to Patrick Lee Irish for that URL, and to [UNR]SPoG and Billox for letting me know about the worm and helping me check I wasn't infected by it.

Anyway, now that's out of the way .. "let's get on with the killing"!

Trashing Bikes

Our recent editorial on attitudes to newbies in the Quake community, "Breaking The Cycle", has brought in a whole flood of e-mails. Here's a little selection -

From : Peter
Subject : "Breaking The Cycle" editorial

I couldn't agree more with the editorial and Gestalt's comments in the news ("If we treat them as badly as we've treated them in the past it's going to be a disaster... "). This is going to be a disaster if tons of folks treat each other worse than Schwarzenegger treats his dearest enemy.

I care about the Quake community and have grown to like places and people but slightly feel rejected by the whole community because for what it turns to be more and more - an unfriendly place too often. It's even worse over here (Middle-Europe) IMHO.

I check out other communities (of other games) constantly for some stuff I'm doing for my own little site and I feel strange when they make jokes about the Quake-community being the last place they ever wanna go - not because of the game, but because of the people imvolved. That hurts simply *everything* related Quake and that's a shame.

As a final note I don't want to leave too bitter here: There are great folks out there. Folks nice enough to help a newbie in the midst of some deathmatch about key binding.

Thanks for PQ's words and editorial. You have some more work to do than only fill news pages and ftp-servers and this is one of the most important. Keep on!

From : Herod
Subject : reply to newbie

i am pretty new to quake and q2 (been playing about 3 months) and after being treated well by some great players when i first joined i now treat newbies the same way.

When i joined my first quake game i was treated to a walkthrough of no less than 4 levels from the other 2 players and similar stuff happened on Q2 but as i played more i came across serious bastards who constantly slag off the newbies and now im pretty competent for a HPB i make sure i treat newbies well because i now know how many things a newbie has to deal with.

Modems, configs, different DM rules, different mods etc.

This is gonna be even more important with QArena on the horizon and the injection of newbies who don't YET have attitude problems like the vast majority of Q/Q2 players.

This issue must be addressed and i was very pleased to read 'breaking the cycle'

From : Alex 'Ironside' Rhodes
Subject : Newbies and Niceties

Just finished reading the editorial by Wizardman, and I must say I couldn't agree more. I see a lot of lack of respect for others, as well as a massive lack of even the most basic of manners.

If you want people to respect your skilz, then you at least have to show the same respect in return. It's amazing what a little politeness can accomplish - new friends, contacts, and who knows what else? Is thrashing a newbie really such an amazing testimate to skill that it's worth alienating them forever? I just don't get that attitude.

The main impetus for playing Quake, et al online is to have fun, gosh darn it! And part of that fun is making sure the others you play with are having fun too.

From : D. Keith Barringer
Subject : Editorial on newbies

Everyone has been a newbie at one time or another and we all have probably had some bad experiences. I hope that your article will let those who are just insensitive jerks realise how much they can stunt the growth of a game and let those who have yet to develop a level of maturity see how helping out can help them.

From : Salt
Subject : breaking the cycle

I was in my favourite Lithium server, happily fragging away, when some guy said: "grappling hook?". So I told him what the command was, he said thanks, I said no problems. A minute later someone else said "i cant turn it off!". So I patiently explained a couple of times about putting "+" at the start of the command. These two guys were then swinging around the map like Tarzan.

The next map, a guy appeared who was of the first-to-find-him type frag. After a little while, I noticed how smoothly he was turning. No fuss, no insults, I advised him to use the mouse etc. He said "ok will do that" and even though he was still an easy frag, he was at least able to turn fast enough to look his killer in the eyes.

The reason I do these things is because unlike myself, a lot of people don't have a bunch of friends at a lan telling them what they need to know. They only people who might be able to answer their questions are the people they play against online.

By helping out a "newbie" every now and again, you can raise the level of competitiveness, which helps you and everyone else get more enjoyment out of this great game of ours. So the next time you're smashing someone while thinking "ho hum", consider passing on a tip or two to help your opponent out. Anyway, it means you get to keep fragging them while they're busy trying to do the things you tell them, instead of having them give up and quit.

From : R.P.G.
Subject : Breaking The Cycle

I am guilty as charged. While I never stooped so low as to curse, call names, or make fun of newbies, I have often lost my patience and screamed "Just read the readme!" I often don't realize that something that is obvious to me, may be totally illogical to a newbie. I forget that I once asked the same questions (although I can't recall ever being cursed at, but that might be because I got on to the scene when everyone else did).

To all the newbies I have lost my patience with: I'm sorry.

From : Steve "Cumin T'Getcha" Humiston
Subject : newbies

I agree with WizardMan's comment concerning the treatment of newbies. On many occasions I have found myself beating the hell out of a raw beginner. When that happens I am faced with two options.

1. I can continue to pummel the poor newbie until he leaves in frustration, or
2. I can give him some pointers and thereby give him some hope.

The first option makes me look like an ass and may reduce the population of the Quake community by one. It gains me nothing but a few cheap frags. The second option gives me great satisfaction and may earn me a new friend.

When the rockets are flying and my opponent is missing badly I will say "shoot at my feet". When they ask why, I will tell them a little about splash damage. My advice is not going to instantly turn them into ultra killing machines. If my bit of advice turns the tide of the battle, then I'm not the player I thought I was.

I will often point them to a website that offers good tutorials on gameplay. The bottom line is, I want to win because I'm better than my opponent, not because I hold all the cards.

From : Ted Lande
Subject : Newbies (FR: Bizzaro)

Dang right, I think your position is totally justified!!! I don't care how many of you think that newbies are a pain in the ass, but newbies are what makes the Quakeworld go 'round! The recurring interest from new and old players alike is what keeps the mods, skins and maps coming to make life a little more interesting in the wonderful world of quake.

And, being only an average player by most standards, I find it disheartening to see newbies gettin' trashed by people that believe that if you are not an instant expert player, that you shouldn't be on the net. Well, what I have to say to that is...HOGWASH!!

Everyone was a newbie at one time or another, and I think that some of the players out there have lost sight of that fact. Be more compasionate, maybe even a little helpful towards newbies, and eventually the newbies are no longer newbies, but decent players that can make a match a lot of fun for everybody. Keep on quakin!! Stay cool. Hooyah!!

From : Exasperation
Subject : newbies and the quake2 community

I would have to agree wholeheartedly with wizardman when he speaks of the total lack of manners of many quakers. I have been a multiplayer addict for the last nine months or so and have seen it get worse over that time. The thing is, its not just rudeness or lack of manners. Many times its just plain viciousness.

Personally, if someone asks "what is that red laser thing?" (I play a lot of lithium) it is obvious to me that they are new. I want them to have all the tools, because lets face it, i'm gonna spank em anyway, but it might as well be sporting ;). So i will always answer that question by telling them how to bind it. ( i see that question so much that i eventually bound the explanation to a key).

This phenomenon though is not limited to the treatment of newbies. Its an attitude (by relatively few i believe) which is antaganistic toward everyone. Basically, you just have a bunch of antisocial and immature kids who are allowed to play on their computers at all hours by their non-attentive parents.

Not only did they not read wizardman's article, if they had it wouldn't change anything for them. But hopefully those of us who are not a-holes to begin with will try to be a little nicer. It would make it a much better experience for all of us. Hell, once in a while i wonder why the hell i keep bothering to come back when i run into some of these jerks. I just have to respond by spanking thier rude little 15 year old asses :).

peace, love, and gibs

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